Thursday, May 21, 2015

Fruitful conversations across disciplines

We've reached my favorite part of the daily schedule at Writing Boot Camp: colleagues reading each others' drafts and offering comments. I love to eavesdrop as colleagues from different departments discover commonalities, such as the two who got into a passionate discussion of the joys of actuarial science. (We don't have an actuarial science program, but where two or more get excited about a potential program, you never know what might happen.) Yesterday an expert on Buddhism gave me some great insights on an essay I'm writing that deals with a Buddhist nun, and right now an expert on the economics of oil and gas markets is conferring with an expert on petroleum geology. We're rocking and rolling!

Best of all, this week we've experienced the benefits of working as part of a community of scholars, encouraging each other to refine ideas and reach writing goals. I've challenged my Boot Campers to form writing partnerships over the summer, linking up with another colleague to offer regular encouragement, offer updates on progress toward goals, and meet periodically to read and respond to drafts. We'll see how it works, but first we need to wrap up this week and wander over to the all-campus picnic before it's over.

They're still talking. I don't want to make them stop. Why can't we keep this conversation going all summer long?

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